REVIEW: WINNEBAGO ESPERANCE
Numerous design innovations are causing considerable interest in the new Winnebago Esperance.
Continuing the Australia-themed names of Birdsville, Nullarbor and Longreach, Winnebago has now introduced the Esperance line of motorhomes. Built on an Iveco Daily cab chassis, there are three models available, one with a roll-down electric bed, one with a rear ‘garage’, and our review model, the C2634SL, which comes with a slide-out.
"We think that Winnebago has built a winner here," Jeremy Pearce of Winnebago dealer Sydney RV Centre said.
A feature that has created interest is the rear bedroom and bathroom area. It has an east-west island bed with the bedhead against the offside wall, together with a rear bathroom that, although not quite full-width, has all the facilities you’d expect to find in a full-width bathroom.
Opening the curved, folding entry door reveals a vanity cabinet with cupboards above and below, a Dometic cassette toilet, and a shower cubicle in the rear offside corner. Ventilation is handled by two roof fan vents and a window in the rear wall. The mirrors on two walls above the vanity sink are well positioned. Outside the bathroom, a full-height wardrobe occupies the rear nearside corner.
Measuring 1.85x1.37m (6ft 1in x 4ft 6in), the foam mattress bed sits on a slatted timber-frame base that lifts easily for access to the divided storage area beneath. Part of this storage is also accessible from the drawer under the bed, with another portion available via an external bin door. It is also where the Webasto diesel-fired heater is located, along with the associated air-duct tubing.
Mounted at the end of the kitchen lockers, just in the bedroom, is a flatscreen TV. On a swivel arm, it can be seen from either the bed or the front lounge.
The kitchen bench is built into the area near the mid-nearside wall. It comes with a Cramer three-burner cooktop with Spinflo grill/oven, alongside a stainless steel sink and drainer. There are the usual overhead lockers and a small slide-out wire basket pantry, but something new for Winnebago are the drawers – four all up and of varying sizes. The hot water heater, Webasto heater and slide-out controls are all mounted on the bench side under the sink.
Fitted into the rear part of the slide-out on the opposite side are the rest of the catering facilities, a 150L Dometic AES fridge with LG microwave and overhead locker above. The other item of interest in the slide-out is the very new and stylish club lounge. Adding to the seating in the front area are both the swivel driver and passenger seats.
Above the driver’s cab, the Luton bed measures 1.88x1.3m (6ft 2in x 4ft 3in) and can be lifted up out of the way if not needed. Other features include the storage bin at the foot of the bed (nearside) and the bedhead with variously shaped storage compartments.
The Esperance is built on an Italian cab chassis, in this case the aforementioned Iveco Daily 50C18, which comes with a 3L 130kW, 400Nm turbodiesel engine and Iveco’s AGile six-speed AMT gearbox. The driver’s cab has all the usual Euro light commercial vehicle features, but one item of interest is the centre-dash LCD screen which provides GPS navigation, AM/FM radio/CD player and a rearview camera.
Looking very stylish, even for a C class motorhome with its front and rear fibreglass mouldings, the Esperance body is built in the usual Winnebago style with a welded aluminium frame covered with sandwich construction walls and an EPDM rubber roof. The Esperance has Hehr hopper-style windows and a Hehr door. Undedicated external bin storage consists of two bins on the nearside (one designed for a generator) and two on the offside, one being for the under-bed area.
Electrics include both 240V and 12V systems, the latter being supplied by two 100Ah deep-cycle batteries. Lighting is a mixture of incandescent fittings and halogen reading lights.
I have to agree with Jeremy Pearce – the Esperance should indeed be a winner. Retaining many standard Winnebago features, the Esperance has a number of innovations that will be of considerable interest to new and existing motorhome travellers.
Read the full review in the July issue of Caravan World with Motorhome World, on sale now!